Tory announces new utility work restrictions to improve traffic flow downtown

Toronto is implementing new restrictions on maintenance work in an effort to improve traffic flow in the downtown core.

Maintenance work will not be allowed on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. in downtown core

Mayor John Tory makes an announcement about new rules restricting downtown construction during the day. (CBC)

Toronto is implementing new restrictions on maintenance work in an effort to improve the flow of traffic downtown but some city councillor's are divided on the plan.  

Mayor John Tory announced on Wednesday that maintenance work will not be allowed on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. within a four-square-kilometre area of downtown.

He also said that work can be done in parking lanes between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Tory specifically took aim at maintenance trucks that have blocked traffic lanes during the day for non-emergency work.

"It's not fair to residents or businesses and it's not something that should be happening in a major city," he said.

In a statement released by ward 20 city councillor, Joe Cressy said he doesn't support the plan for residents in the Trinity-Spadina area.

"I stand in complete opposition to forcing downtown residents to accept late-night and overnight work on a regular basis," he said. 

While Cressy was not on board with Tory's new restrictions, Ward 28 city councillor Lucy Troisi said in a tweet that she supported the plan. 

"This common-sense policy change was introduced by City staff 3 weeks ago. It ensures utilities won't tie up active lanes of traffic for non-emergency work - so streetcars, bikes, buses & cars can move," she said. 

Beyond the designated area and parking lanes Tory said workers will be allowed to do maintenance in the "off-peak direction" as long as it's been determined by city staff first. 

The policy will also apply to all subcontractors working on behalf of utility companies on hydro, telephone or cable companies.